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Local Boutiques unite for Midtown Pop-Up Shop

As owner of the Gypsy Mobile Boutique, Bridgette Maldonado drives a black delivery truck filled with clothing and accessories to outdoor events from Sacramento to Los Angeles. But when autumn set in and more events moved indoors, she and her architect husband, Marvin, came up with the idea to move Gypsy Mobile Boutique out of the truck and inside the first floor of a Midtown building.

“There was no way I was going to take up the whole shop,” Maldonado said. “We thought it would be nice to have a pop-up and have people shop local, so instead of the mall, people can come here.”

Housed in a 106-year-old federal style building on the 2000 block of N Street, MidtownPop opened its doors for the first time this past Saturday to offer trendy clothing, jewelry, handbags, shoes and furniture. It will be open until December.

A pop-up boutique is a fashion shop that moves into a temporary storefront in an urban setting. For the past decade, the trend has emerged in metropolises like Los Angeles and New York, and it’s catching on in Sacramento. Local brands like KingsTribe Clothing, Tiana Vega Collection, Love by Janelle Cardenas, Maisha Bahati and Haute Baubles have popped up in storefronts for a day or more.

Along with Gypsy Mobile Boutique, other businesses participated in the multishop venture, such as Article Consignment Boutique, Mikobella Designs, Little Revelations, Just and Swagger House of Art & Fashion.

“This is my first pop-up boutique,” said Tyniece Hall of Swagger. “I’m so excited. I’ve been waiting to have my own area.”

Hall embellishes pumps, handbags and clothing with materials like glitter, chains and paint, and handcrafts jewelry. She started Swagger in 2009 with selling her merchandise on Etsy and at Taylrz Joynt in Oakland.

“I started wanting my own boutique,” she said. “When I looked online, I couldn’t find stuff that fit my style, so I started making my own things.”

Transforming drab objects into stylish must-haves was also a theme with Mikobella Designs, carried at Article, an East Sacramento consignment boutique that took part in MidtownPop. It’s owned by Abe and Valerie Sanchez, but Tomicko Abella of Mikobella Designs was helping manage the pop-up shop.

“It was a good opportunity to show all the things in one area,” Abella said. “They asked me to help them have a Midtown presence.”

Abella used to design and sell clothes under the same brand name at places like Sugar Shack Boutique and Krazy Mary’s Boutique. She now makes jewelry and accessories and redesigns clothing but enjoys reviving old pieces of furniture with colorful paint and decorative print with her 3-year-old daughter, Gia.

“It’s easier for me to paint and make jewelry than to construct clothing,” she said of adding mother to her résumé.

Along with handmade fashions, MidtownPop has fair-trade products with Just, another mobile boutique that specializes in jewelry and accessories created by cooperative artisans in Guatemala and Indonesia.

“My goal is to visit and get items from the world’s finest markets,” said Julia Beckner of Just. From the markets, she meets established artisan groups. Some of her inventory includes multicolored beaded necklaces, vintage Mayan purses turned into iPad cases and scarves dyed red with cochineal insects, blue with indigo and green with avocado peel.

Beckner and Stacy Muguet were partners at De Colores, a fair-trade boutique in Davis, until 2006. At MidtownPop, Muguet sells Kasih, a jewelry line produced by artisans in Bali. She makes a trip to Bali twice a year with her 8-year-old son, Roman, to design sterling silver jewelry with precious stones and replicas of plant material like coral branches and coffee beans.

“Everyone needs to make a living,” Muguet said. “It’s fair-trade, so the artisans make a living there, and we’re making a living on this end. It’s nonprofit work.”

MidtownPop will be opened Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and closed on Sundays and Mondays, from now to December.

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